Barring disaster when my results are released this Friday, my days as an undergraduate students are now complete. After six years of study (well, five of study, and one swanning around Europe and the Middle East) I will be a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. Or to use my newfound postnominals, I will be Ari Sharp, BCom/BA (Melb). Whilst the university will be acknowledging my graduation in the usual way, by making me wear a silly cap and cloak whilst they ask me for money, it seems appropriate to honour it in a more personal and meaningful way.
Therefore, I will be embarking on a frothy and indulgent reminisce on my time as a student at one of Australia's eminent educational institutions. In this endeavour I am inspired by Alice Garner's recently released The Student Chronicles, which maps out the author's path to undergraduate glory at Unimelb. Though I haven't read it yet, I'm also curious about Ross Gregory Douth's experiences at Harvard, in Privilege.
Like both Garner and Douth, I come from a background whereby a university education is seen as a birthright rather than an opportunity. Both my parents received a university education, and the vast majority of my high school class went on to study at one of this city's major universities. Given this, it's easy to become complacent and take for granted the chance to spend years honing my intellect without suffering the material discomfort or privation that comes with spending your productive years rather unproductively.
Much like dreams and nightmares are supposed to help a person cope psychologically with what they've experienced during the day, I hope that these musings can help me make sense of the past six years of my life. In no particular order, I want to talk about life on campus, what goes on inside the classroom, the Melbourne Uni student political scandals of recent times, the good, the bad and the ugly of university academics, and anything else comes to mind. I guess at the heart of it I want to answer the existential question that afflicts all students at one time or another: what's the point of it all?
I probably won't find an answer, but I'll have some fun looking.